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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                               103
the development of species, are replacing research; and when
the data usually employed for deducing the laws of the dis-
tribution of plants consist of a compilation of raw materials
from the works of travellers and local observers more or less
skilled in botany, it becomes incumbent upon us, who hold
that progress in this branch of botany depends on an exact
knowledge of species, genera, families, and their affinities, to
refrain from crude speculations as to the origin of the Indian
Flora.
The following geographical alliances or affinities (if we may
nse the terms) of the Indian Flora, with more or less remote
countries, we consider well established; they are capable of
much illustration, even in the present state of,our knowledge,
but it is 'obviously impossible to dilate upon them here.
1. The Australian type.—The Flora of Australia is well
known to contain far more endemic species and families than
any other country does, and of these a few representatives
extend into India. Besides Pittosporum and Scavola, which,
though more characteristic of the Australian than of other
Floras, are found all over India and Africa; there are two
species of Stylidium, which are the only extra-Australian ones
known : one of these extends up the Malay peninsula to Sil-
het, and is also said to he-found at Midnapore on the west
side of the Gangetic delta; and the other is confined to the
Mal^y peninsula. Several species of Australian genera of
Myrtacea (Lcptospermum, Backia, and Metrosideros) inha-
bit the same peninsula, besides the .very remarkable genus
Tristania, which advances to Moulmein in 17° N. lat. Casu-
arina, which is cultivated throughout India, is wild on the
east coast of the Bay of Bengal as far north as Ramri; and of
Helicia (a Proteaceous gfenus) several species abound in the
Malay peninsula, and one extends to Silhet, and along the
base of the Himalaya to Central NipaL Lagenqphora, a email
Australian genus of Composite (also found in New Zealand
and l^negia), has a representative in the Khasia and Ceylon.
We thus see that Australian types are almost confined to a